US start-up carrier New Pacific Airlines has dropped Las Vegas, one of its primary markets, from its fledgling network due to ongoing ground delays at Harry Reid International airport. 

The Anchorage, Alaska-based carrier on 4 January confirmed that it had “withdrawn service” between Las Vegas and Ontario International airport outside of Los Angeles. It had previously operated the route twice-weekly with its Boeing 757-200s. 

”The airline was consistently getting two- to three-hour ground delays arriving and departing” from Las Vegas, chief executive Rob McKinney tells FlightGlobal. 

new pacific

Source: New Pacific Airlines

New Pacific has stopped operating between Los Angeles and Las Vegas 

The carrier now offers two routes – Ontario to Nashville, Tennessee and Ontario to Reno, Nevada. Those flights started in September, after New Pacific launched commercial service with its Los Angeles-Las Vegas route in July. 

Frontier Airlines has also reported frequent ground delays in Las Vegas amid the nationwide shortage of air traffic controllers. But such delays are particularly problematic on for short-haul routes that compete with ground-based transportation, such as Los Angeles to Las Vegas. 

Withdrawing from a foundational market is another setback in what has been a tumultuous launch period for New Pacific. In September, the carrier temporarily halted service from Los Angeles to Las Vegas – its only route at the time – as it was “finalising [its] fall schedule”. Flights resumed after several days. 

The start-up orginally planned to launch flights between the US West Coast and Japan and South Korea, using Anchorage as a stopover much like Icelandair uses its headquarters in Reykjavik for transatlantic flights. But those plans have been delayed as the carrier attempts to expand in North America. 

Originally called Northern Pacific Airways, the carrier opted in September to rebrand to New Pacific Airlines rather than fight a lawsuit from brought by BNSF Railway. The railway company had sued to protect the trademark of one of its predecessors, Northern Pacific Railways. 

Cirium fleets data show that the carrier currently operates two 757s, with another two of the type in storage.